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Birds of Oman Hardcover – September, 1981

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Quartet Books; 1St Edition edition (September 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0704322161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0704322165
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,110,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Oman is a nation in Arabia, just south of Saudi Arabia. Michael Gallagher has compiled an entire book about its avian fauna, complete with illustrations signed Martin Woodcock.

"Birds of Oman" is a reference work more than a field guide. The species presentations are short and succinct. That being said, the color plates are surprisingly good and even have local color (pun unintended). In fact, "Birds of Oman" could work as a coffee table book. It includes all birds you are ever likely to see in Oman, including some of "our" birds, such as grey herons, mallards, grebes, cranes, grey-lag geese... So *this* is where they go when tired of the Swedish winter and boredom!

Even rare vagrants and unconfirmed species have been included on the lush color plates, which may give the reader a slightly skewed view of the avian theatre of this distant Arabian land. But then, birds do fly. So perhaps we shouldn't complain too much about it?

I'm not sure if Oman is anyone's favorite haunt when eager to see mallards or geese, but if you really want to make a landfall, I'm sure "Birds of Oman" is the book for you.
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Format: Hardcover
THE BASICS:
hardcover; there are 120 very good quality, color plates that show 550 species found in Oman; this large book is not a field guide but, it is still a very useful study guide for nearly all the birds on the country; text helps to describe the bird but it does not present the material in a manner meant to identify the bird as does a field guide; no range maps are provided

THE REVIEW:
Even after nearly 35 years, this is still the best book available to focus on just the birds of Oman. Although the weight and large size (12x9 inches) of the book prevent it from being used as a field guide, it does contain excellent illustrations on all but the most rare of the birds found in Oman.

The 120 color plates take advantage of the large pages by showing only 3-4 species per plate. This allows for large paintings and also give ample room for multiple plumages. The number of illustrations per plate ranges from 3-11. For some birds, such as the shorebirds, gulls, and terns in flight, additional plates were added. At first glance, the plates might strike you as only an artistic work due to the painted backgrounds and the large size of the birds; however, closer examination will show these illustrations are painted with accuracy that will definitely help with identifying the birds. I should note that a few groups (shorebirds and warblers) could use a few more illustrations to help ensure a more confident identification with the seasonal variations in the plumages.

The text for each bird, which is provided on the left page across from the plate, consists of two paragraphs. This information offers a brief outline of the bird's distribution in the world and its seasonal presence in Oman. Nearly half the text focuses on describing the bird.
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